The Delhi High Court dismissed parole plea of a convict involved in the Soumya Vishwanathan murder case.

The Court noted that the Petitioner sought parole to undergo knee surgery without producing sufficient proof for the same.

Considering the Petitioner’s criminal history, the gravity of the offences, and overall conduct, the Court refused parole, dismissing the petition.

The parole in this case has not been sought on grounds of any exigency in the family of petitioner but for the purpose of maintaining social and family ties. Though one of the grounds mentioned in the petition for seeking parole also relates to undergoing a knee surgery, neither any document or material in support of same has been placed on record, nor any arguments in this regard were addressed before this Court” the Bench of Justice Swarana Kanta Sharma observed.

Advocate Dimple Vivek appeared for the Petitioner and Standing Counsel Sanjay Lao appeared for the State.

Ravi Kapoor, serving a life sentence, appealed for a four-week parole to maintain family bonds and undergo knee surgery. Filed under Articles 226 and 227 of the Constitution, the petition highlighted Kapoor's 14-year imprisonment, with a previous death sentence commuted to life.

While recognizing the Petitioner's satisfactory jail conduct from 2017 onward based on nominal records, the Court noted 41 major punishments between 2010 and 2017 for various jail offences. Kapoor, involved in 20 criminal cases, was convicted in two Section 302 IPC cases – one for a 2008 journalist murder and the other for the 2009 abduction and murder of a woman. The most recent conviction was on October 18, 2023.

The Court noted the significance of respecting convicts' rights and considering parole for social and family reasons. However, the Bench observed the need to balance such considerations with the public interest, especially when habitual offenders or potential threats to society seek parole.

Examining the case of Asfaq v State of Rajasthan [(2017) 15 SCC 55], the Court observed Kapoor's history of about 20 criminal cases from 2002 to 2010, leading to convictions in two murder and robbery cases, the latest in October 2023. Despite satisfactory recent jail conduct, the overall behaviour remained unsatisfactory, with 41 major punishments.

Considering Kapoor's criminal history, the gravity of the offences, and overall conduct, the Court refused parole, dismissing the petition. The Court noted that these observations would not influence future parole or furlough applications by Kapoor before competent authorities.

Accordingly, the Court dismissed the Petition.

Cause Title: Ravi Kapoor v State-NCT Of Delhi (2024:DHC:266)

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